The Indian Historical Records Commission, a permanent body was set up by the Government of India an approved by the Secretary of State in 1919. Its personnel consist of experienced archivists and historiographers, and its functions are exploratory and advisory. Today, it forages round the country, through local bodies, in search of documents of historical importance and advises the government on the best way preserving and making available to scholars existing historical documents.
Its opinion would carry weight with the public and which would make enquiries and recommendations regarding (i) treatment of archives for historical study, (ii) the scale and plan on which the cataloguing, the calendaring and reprinting of each class of documents should be undertaken, (iii) the sums required for encouraging research among, and publication of records, (iv) selection of competent scholars for editing documents, and (v) the problems of public access to records
The Committee since its inception has held 61 Sessions and has contributed significantly to the growth of public interest in the conservation and use of archives. The Government of India do recognize that it was through the initiative of the Committee and its different Committees that many new sources of information have been brought to light and saved for posterity, many collections of documents have been published and made accessible to scholars, facilities for the use of records have been materially enhanced and a new conscience has been aroused in the public mind in respect of the sanctity of historical evidence. While the Government of India note with deep appreciation these and other achievements of the Committee, they do feel at the same time that much work still remains to be done and that a host of important problems are still awaiting to be tackled. Many records collections are still without any guides or hand-books let alone comprehensive descriptive lists, and very few repositories, public or private, have yet developed a well-articulated programme of documents-publication. Most of the collections still continue to be housed in primitive conditions and are subjected to the ravages of insect pests, moulds and other destructive agents. Very little systematic effort has been made to survey, describe, organize or make use of records in private custody, and particularly, those of institutional, religious or commercial origin. Lack of trained archivists continues seriously to impede the archival work in the country and the training facilities available in the National Archives have hardly stimulated an adequate response among the owners of archival holdings. The Government believes that these constitute very serious lacunae in the academic life of the nation and that greater and more whole-hearted cooperation between Keepers of Records and historical materials on the one hand and their users on the other, is the only means by which these deficiencies could be removed.
- To help in spreading a feeling of national pride in our documentary cultural heritage and ensuring its preservation for posterity.
- To encourage the scientific management, administration and conservation of records all over the country.
- To foster close relations between archivists’ and archival institutions, both at the national and international levels.
- To encourage greater liberalization of access to archival holdings.
- To help in developing greater professionalism and a scientific temper among creators, custodians and users of records for proper care and use of our documentary heritage.
The National Archives of India is an attached office under Ministry of Culture. The organisation is headed by the Director General of Archives who is assisted by Deputy Directors of Archives looking after various Divisions like Records, Records Management, Administration, Training, Publication, Library, Conservation, Digitisation etc., The Department has a Regional Office at Bhopal and three Records Centres at Bhubaneswar, Jaipur and Puducherry.
- Complete dedication and devotion to the welfare and development of Archives and the Archival Profession.
- Providing facilities for the public use of reference media, records and publications available among our holdings.
- Searching and issuing of certified extracts of documents to the public for their use in accordance with rules laid down for the purpose.
- Providing assistance to documentary film makers and other professionals in locating, selecting and filming material of their interest.
- Organising conducted tours to our various Sections for the benefit of officials/ trainees for education and professional Institutes, as well as groups of individuals, with a view to apprising them with the different activities of the Department.
- Extending professional expertise to Institutions by deputing officers to deliver lectures, conduct workshops on management, administration and preservation of records.
Guidance and Assistance
The Department is committed to providing maximum assistance to scholars, administrators as well as general public who approach us in connection with their work.
- All enquiries are attended promptly, and efforts are made to ensure satisfaction of the concerned person by providing feed back facility to the scholars/ researches visiting the Research Room.
- All requests may be addressed to the Director General of Archives, Janpath, New Delhi 110001, or the under-mentioned contact numbers: